Morrisons Cove Herald - Putting cows on the front page since 1885.

By Kelly Baker

Not Your Typical Church Lady

The Standard


During the winter I tend to hibernate. I eat snacks and cookies and enjoy going to bed as early as possible. This is how I cope with the long, dark days of winter. Eventually spring rolls around and the days begin to get lighter and warmer, prompting me to get my spring and summer clothes out. That's when I always notice that the cookies, snacks and naps during hibernation were not kind to me. It happened again this year – my trusty shorts and T-shirts seemed to have shrunk over the winter. And so it was that I came to find myself working out with Rebecca Louise.

Rebecca Louise is a very lean and toned young lady who offers a variety of workouts. In one of the workouts she asks, "What are you looking to achieve from this? What is your reason? What is your 'why' for starting this workout? Because if you know why you've started something it is going to be so much easier to continue and to keep on going and to finish. So figure out what that 'Why' is." She says this in the middle of doing Russian twists with weights and leg extensions and I always think in my head, "So I can look like YOU, that's why!"

Do I think I will ever look like Rebecca Louise? With God, all things are possible, but with my love of cream cheese, I have my doubts. No, I may never actually look like Rebecca Louise, but she is the standard that I'm aiming for. You see, I've noticed when I workout with more average looking people, I don't try as hard. My standards are lower, there is nothing inside of me that says "Yeah, go for it, try a little harder." But when I work out with someone who is the pinnacle of physical perfection, I set my standards higher, so I try harder. It's good for me to try harder. That is just my own personal experience.

This got me thinking about our culture as a whole. How often do we hear, "This is just the way that I am and I've accepted it and I have no need to try to improve myself. I'm just going to love me the way that I am." We say this about our bodies, our personalities, our intelligence and our spiritual life. When did we stop setting standards? When did we stop trying to improve ourselves? It's not bad to love yourself, but if you really do love yourself, don't you want to be the best you that you can be? A standard is a level of quality, something by which other things are measured. When we have low standards, we reach those goals much sooner with out as much effort and then we stop.

What about your spiritual standard? What are you looking to achieve? What is your reason? What is your "Why"? Who are you focusing on? Jesus is our spiritual standard. He is the example we should try to remember to hold in front of us. Remember the popular WWJD ("What Would Jesus Do") bracelets from years ago? Those letters were a visual reminder to focus on a higher standard. Are we still aiming that high or have we decided that we're simply good enough the way we are, no need to try harder. It's a personal question and only you can answer that for yourself.

The world would prefer that Believers just keep eating snacks and taking naps. It wants us to stay in winter hibernation. It likes when we do not hold ourselves to a higher standard. It tells us we're good enough the way we are and we don't need God's help. Satan is a liar, you know that, right? Do you think he wants us to keep trying? Do you think he wants us to keep our focus on Jesus? No and no.

"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will" (Romans 12:2, NIV).

It's OK to swim upstream. Don't go with the flow all the time. Don't conform to the way things are going in the world – be transformed by the renewing of your mind. The way to do that is to steep yourself in the Word, immerse your soul in what is true and right. Keep your eyes focused on Jesus as your spiritual standard.

It would be good to clarify that what we are talking about has to do with self examination, not expecting this of others. We want a higher level of quality for all, but we've got to get ourselves in order first. As it says in Matthew 7:3, why look at the speck of sawdust in our brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank that is in our own?

Do I think I'll ever be as good as Jesus? No way. But I'll keep trying, and every day I'll wake up and try again. He is my Why and my Reason and what I'm looking to achieve. How about you?


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